Is the Worst Over? A Look at the Numbers for COVID-1911 min read

US COVID-19 deaths just doubled as the world continues the fight against the disease. But just how deadly is the virus and can we believe everything we read? Here's a look at the numbers for COVID-19, what they mean, and the unique opportunity that exists today.
US COVID-19 deaths just doubled as the world continues the fight against the disease. But just how deadly is the virus and can we believe everything we read? Here's a look at the numbers for COVID-19, what they mean, and the unique opportunity that exists today.

Dear Reader,

We have NEVER witnessed anything like this.

It has been the single biggest economic shut down in history.

It wasn’t caused by a market crash. It wasn’t caused by inflation or deflation. It wasn’t caused by a financial crisis. It wasn’t even caused by politics.

It was caused by what we’ve been told is a deadly virus that could kill 2.2 million Americans if left unchecked – according to a 20-page report from Dr. Neil M. Ferguson, a British epidemiologist who is regarded as one of the best disease modelers in the world.

In fact, the March 16th report from Ferguson’s team went on to say that even if we did what we could, outside of a vaccine or treatment, COVID-19 could still kill more than 1 million Americans.

Via Washington Post:

“…(the report) also found that moderate social distancing measures — including a seven-day isolation for anyone showing symptoms, a 14-day voluntary quarantine for their household, and significantly reduced social contact for those 70 and older — would halve the overall mortality to 1.1 million people.”

Today, there are just over 54,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

Does that mean the death rates in the U.S. are about to jump by 2000%?

Let’s take a look at Dr. Ferguson’s track record on past outbreak predictions to find out.

Track Record for One of the World’s Best Epidemiologist

Back in 2005, Ferguson and his group said that the bird flu could kill up to 200 million people.

Via the Guardian:

“…Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, told Guardian Unlimited that up to 200 million people could be killed.

“Around 40 million people died in 1918 Spanish flu outbreak,” said Prof Ferguson. “There are six times more people on the planet now so you could scale it up to around 200 million people probably.”

It doesn’t sound like a very scientific calculation, but I am not the expert here. So was Ferguson right?

Between 2003-2009, 282 people around the world died from the bird flu – not 200 million.

Then, in 2009, Ferguson and his team said that the swine flu virus, “almost certainly will cause a global epidemic.”

His team also suggested that the CFR is in the range of 0.3% to 1.5%, with 0.4% the most likely:

Via The Imperial:

“The uncertainty around the numbers of people who have been infected with influenza A (H1N1) in Mexico means that the case fatality ratio (CFR) of 0.4% (4 deaths per 1000) cannot be definitely established. The CFR is in the range of 0.3% to 1.5%, but at this stage the researchers believe that 0.4% is the most likely.”

Based on Ferguson’s study, British ministers then predicted that a ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ was that the disease would lead to 65,000 UK deaths.

So, what ended up happening?

The swine flu killed 457 people. And the death rate? Just 0.026%. – 93.5% lower than predicted.

With that kind of track record, why did the WHO and other world governments take the March 16th report from Ferguson’s team so seriously?

Take a look at my previous letter to see my answer.

CFR Dropping

In just one short month, the CFR for COVID-19 has steadily been declining – just as it did with H1N1.

In fact, according to New York State testing, the CFR could be much lower than previously predicted.

Via MarketWatch:

“More than 21% of the New York City residents randomly given coronavirus antibody tests earlier this week tested positive, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference on Thursday.

…Monday marked the start of a widespread initiative to administer antibody tests to 3,000 New Yorkers in grocery stores across the state. Results were collected over two days in 19 counties and 40 localities.

Statewide, 13.9% of the 3,000 individuals tested were positive for coronavirus antibodies, meaning “these were people who were infected and who developed the antibodies to fight the infection,” Cuomo said.

If the state infection rate stands at 13.9% on a large scale, that would amount to roughly 2.7 million people who have been infected, and drops the fatality rate of the virus down to about 0.5%, the governor said.

On that same basis, the 21.2% infection rate in New York City would suggest that more than 1.7 million city residents have had the virus.”

In other words, the randomized testing in New York further supports other randomized testing studies done around the world: that many who have, or had, COVID-19 show little-to-no symptoms at all.

Recall my last letter where I wrote about the study in Iceland, whereby most people who had COVID-19 either showed no symptoms at all or only minor cold-like symptoms.

Now, before you go and send me angry hate mail for saying COVID-19 isn’t that deadly, stop. And think.

Many have died from it, so yes, it’s deadly. The flu can be deadly also – especially if you’re over the age of 80, which many COVID-19 deaths were.

What I am saying is that it’s likely not as deadly as “experts” first thought – just like the previous pandemics, such as Ebola or H1N1.

Now, I am not a doctor, nor an epidemiologist. But I am also not the only one who thinks so.

On March 26, 2020, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published their own report and findings on COVID-19.

Via The New England Journal of Medicine:

“If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%.

This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”

Of course, their findings went mostly unnoticed.

It’s been nearly a month since that report was published, and many randomized tests have been completed – including the latest in the state of New York.

So were Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Dr. H. Clifford Lane, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, right?

All of the randomized testings completed thus far certainly supports their assumption that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases.

In other words, COVID-19 could very well, and logically, be compared to a severe seasonal flu – maybe even less in terms of CFR.

Via Wolters Kluwer Health:

“From September 2017 to February 2018, the reported incidence and fatality of influenza were 606,734 and 117, respectively, with an average yearly reported incidence rate of 87.29 per 100,000 and an averaged reported CFR of 0.19 per 1000.”

Source: A Severe Seasonal Influenza Epidemic During 2017–2018 in China After the 2009 Pandemic Influenza: A Modeling Study
Infectious Microbes & Diseases1(1):20-26, September 2019.

How does that compare to COVID-19?

Via The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and Oxford:

“Iceland has tested a higher proportion of people than any other country (9,768 individuals), equivalent to 26,762 per million inhabitants the highest in the world…

…Screening suggests 0.5% are infected; the correct figure is likely higher due to asymptomatics and many not seeking testing: estimates suggest the real number infected is 1%.

Iceland, currently reports two deaths in 963 patients, CFR. 0.21%. If 1% of the population (364,000) is infected, then the corresponding IFR would be 0.05%. However, they have limited infections in the elderly as their test and quarantine measures have seemingly shielded this group, and the deaths will lag by about two weeks after the infection.

Iceland’s higher rates of testing, the smaller population, and their ability to ascertain all those with Sars-CoV-2 means they can obtain an accurate estimate of the CFR and the IFR during the pandemic (most countries will only be able to do this after the pandemic). Current data from Iceland suggests their IFR is somewhere between 0.01% and 0.19%.”

Now, one could argue that the flu hasn’t taken as many lives this year as COVID-19. But the other argument could simply be in reporting – just as with COVID-19.

Via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“While flu deaths in children are reported to CDC, flu deaths in adults are not nationally notifiable. In order to monitor influenza related deaths in all age groups, CDC tracks pneumonia and influenza (P&I)-attributed deaths through the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Reporting System. This system tracks the proportion of death certificates processed that list pneumonia or influenza as the underlying or contributing cause of death. This system provides an overall indication of whether flu-associated deaths are elevated, but does not provide an exact number of how many people died from flu.

In other words, since COVID-19 deaths can now be labeled as such without testing based on symptoms, and its symptoms are similar to the flu, many deaths now being attributed to COVID-19 could have been the flu itself.

In my previous letter, I received comments that I shouldn’t be comparing COVID-19 to the flu.

However, the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar. And I am only doing what many experts are doing, including experts from the World Health Organization (WHO):

Via The World Health Organization:

“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.”

Clearly, the 3.4% CFR is wrong – by a long shot.

Some food for thought.

Opportunity

When I write about our current debt bubble, there are always a few that say I am spreading fear.

Yet, when I write about COVID-19, there are always a few who tell me I am spreading propaganda that will kill people; that I should be more fearful.

Well, the media is doing a great job of spreading fear already – so what I really want to do is bring some optimism back into your life.

If you know the numbers – which are much more logical than opinions – then perhaps you can turn the negativity from COVID-19 into opportunities.

And that’s precisely what I want to share with you today.

If COVID-19 proves not to be as deadly as previously thought, and cases continue to drop as they are now, the world economy should open back up – albeit very slowly.

However, when it does, and manufacturing and other sectors once again pick up, the supply of resources will be limited.

And therein lies our opportunity.

Shutdowns

Outside of essential services, many businesses have been shut down globally.

That includes mines all around the world, from gold mines in South Africa to copper mines in Peru.

And even when things finally open back up, it will take weeks to months for many of these mines to reopen.

With the demand for gold climbing during a time where production and refining have been halted, it’s no wonder gold and gold stocks are rising.

Of course, there are many other industries that have been hit hard. Many of these will eventually rebound – however, don’t be so quick to jump in, as consumer spending will have to pick up for many sectors to bounce back.

Conclusion

The problem with COVID-19 is that there seems to be a startling number of groups who want to induce fear.

What do I mean?

On April 16th, I informed you that many US cities have been instructed to include probable deaths in their death counts by their respective Department of Health.

New York City was one of them.

Via The New York Times:

“New York City, already a world epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, sharply increased its death toll by more than 3,700 victims on Tuesday, after officials said they were now including people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.

The new figures, released by the city’s Health Department, drove up the number of people killed in New York City to more than 10,000, and appeared to increase the overall United States death count by 17 percent to more than 26,000.”

So is it any surprise that since that time, the US COVID-19 death rate miraculously doubled?

Via Washington Post:

“U.S. fatalities doubled in the past week as the outbreak in New York may have begun “a descent.” President Donald Trump said a deal is near on additional aid for small businesses.”

Now you know why the death rate of COVID-19 in the US doubled last week

But why would anyone want to increase the death rate of COVID-19?

Perhaps they want us to be more careful?

Perhaps they want more funding?

According to many Germans, the new coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear.

Via Reuters:

“Protesters shouted “I want my life back” and held up signs with slogans such as “Protect constitutional rights”, “Freedom isn’t everything but without freedom, everything is nothing”, and “Daddy, what is a kiss?”

Police said on Twitter they had arrested more than 100 people.

…Like dozens of countries around the globe, Germany has put in place strict curbs on public activity to slow transmission of COVID-19, imposing its lockdown on March 17.

The protesters handed out newspapers entitled “Democratic Resistance”, which said the new coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear. The papers quoted 127 doctors from around the world who question the need for strict lockdowns.”

Are those Germans wrong?

Governments now have more control than ever. Many have instituted a toned-down version of Martial law. Many will soon raise taxes.

Meanwhile, citizens around the world now owe their governments and banks more money than ever.

Mark my words: we’re going to see the ultra-rich get much richer by buying up businesses and stocks for pennies on the dollar.

Meanwhile, the lower and middle class will be struggling to pay back their debt obligations as a result of the shutdown.

Now, I know there are some of you – a small portion of you – that will say, “stop thinking about money! People are dying!

But this “pandemic” will end.

So you need to ask yourself: “Do I want to get poorer while the rich get richer?

If the answer is no, then I suggest doing what the rich have already been doing: seizing the opportunity.

I have been buying gold, lithium, and other retail stocks – all of them are up.

I am not going to sit here and lose so that others can win at our expense.

Seek the truth,

Ivan Lo

The Equedia Letter

www.equedia.com

Equedia.com and Equedia Network Corporation are not registered as investment advisers, broker-dealers or other securities professionals with any financial or securities regulatory authority. Remember, past performance is not indicative of future performance. This article also contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made in this article. It’s your money to invest and we don’t share in your profits or your losses, so please take responsibility for doing your own due diligence and consult your own professional advisers before investing in gold or trading in gold securities.

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